Lone Wolf's get you started guide.

It happens to the best of us. That wonderful feeling when the bloody thing won't start. This little guide just might be of some use. It is aimed, primarily at older vehicles with points ignition and old fashioned carburettors. If you have a new-fangled thingy with electronic engine management and digital fuel injection, then you are on your own matey.

Simply enough, if it asks a question, you have the option of answering  which will take you to the next stage of the show, the  button will help you find out what may be wrong.

The  button will try to explain what you can do to try and rectify the fault.

will bring you back to this page, so that you can try all over again.
will point your snout at something that may just help you.


    I assume that you are not a complete mechanical novice, and you know things that should be obvious; it won't run without fuel, if the battery is flat it's no use keep pressing the starter. 

    You put the key in, switch the ignition on and nothing happens.


Think about it.  Does anything at all happen when you switch on?  Does the ignition light come on? Does the starter motor just make a dull click?  Do the lights work?  Does jumping up and down on the kick start produce nothing but frustration?
    Before you can fix the problem, you have to find it.  By using a bit of common sense and a little logic, you will be up and running in no time. 

The jolly old battery is the commonest cause of start failure, especially on machines with an electric starter only.
    So lets start with the battery. ( 'cos without it, you won't start.  Magneto equipped engines excepted )

Has the battery got enough balls?  


So the battery is in good order. Does the starter motor whizz the engine over?


The engine turns over, but it won't go. Do we have the "vital spark" 

Do we have the "vital spark" at the right time 

Is that stuff in the tank really petrol, I have known some clever sod either piss in the tank or donate a pint of beer. - Having made sure that we have petrol, let's go on to the other bits

Does the engine have compression.

If an engine has compression, a spark at the right time, and petrol and air in the correct ratio then it will run.  It cannot fail to do so.  It might not run correctly, but it MUST run if all the above criteria are met. It's as simple as that. Now press the start button and away we go.

Would you get me back to the


now please?